12 Years a Slave Paperback – 4 Nov 2013
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"For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup's tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement." --Ira Berlin, from the Introduction "When I read ["Twelve Years a Slave"] for the first time, it was like the first time I read Anne Frank's diary. And I wondered to myself, 'Why isn't this book on everyone's bookshelf.' . . . For me, it's a classic. It should be in every school." --Steve McQueen, director of the film adaptation of "Twelve Years a Slave, "in "Entertainment Weekly" "Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." "--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Root"" "A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousands gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.'" --"Saturday Review" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
The astonishing memoir of a free man who was sold into slavery in Louisiana where he was kept for 12 years-a powerful, riveting condemnation of slavery, and a story soon to be introduced to a new audience through a major film. Tricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York state in 1841, Solomon Northup was instead drugged and kidnapped. Threatened with death, Northup was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-ridden plague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter. In the 12 years that followed he was sold to many different owners who treated him with varying levels of savagery, including forced labor, scant food, and numerous beatings. Eventually Northup succeeded in contacting Samuel Bass, a white carpenter whom he knew to be sympathetic to the cause of black people. Bass contacted Northup's family and together they gained the necessary paperwork to travel to Louisiana to retrieve him. Northup pressed charges against his captors but in a triumph of irony the case was heard in Washington-meaning that as a black man he could not testify against the accused (in the end they were able to countersue him.) A true-life testament to tremendous courage and tenacity in the face of unfathomable injustice, Northup's account is also of extreme interest due to the meticulous recordings of slave life. Unique in its firsthand nature, the book became a runaway bestseller. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Unfortunately there is a problem with this novel. Amazon copy and pasted this novel from another site (reason why it's so cheap). Because of this there is typing errors throughout the novel that Amazon haven't bothered changing.
This has to be one of the best historical pieces involving slavery. It's great for educational or entertainment purposes. This novel opened my eyes a little more considering slavery, not just in England, but in America too.
There are clear and sometimes graphic descriptions in this novel, but I guess it's told as it is. (You have been warned). The dialogue was also clear and was of very good quality. It compliments the descriptions and pieces everything together nicely.
Overall it's a great novel that's well written, even considering it's age. I would recommend this novel who stumbles across the author or even the movie.
It's worth reading this book just to get a feel (imagined as nothing could duplicate the real thing) for the inhuman things that some people are willing to make others endure just for the colour of skin,
Remember slavery is just as prevalent today as it was in Solomon Northups time,it's just disguised very well and does not get the attention it needs
A compelling and immersive read, but not for the faint-hearted.
(As others have mentioned, the Kindle version is littered with "misprints" - presumably the result of poor text-conversion software, but it surely should have been proof-read and corrected by now! But don't let that put you off buying and reading this book - everybody should!)
The book is written in an old style which I thought I would struggle with, but I picked it up very easily.
The story is fairly fast-paced and is constantly moving forward so it's difficult to put down.
I have a found a few spelling and grammatical errors in the kindle version, which I presume were introduced when the book was converted to kindle format. These don't distract from the storyline, but I don't think it is unreasonable to expect these are ironed out in the final version.
I'm currently about 70% of the way through the book and I am looking forward to reading the rest. I still plan to see the film, but (as usual) I doubt the film will be as detailed as the book.
I would recommend this book.
I'm glad that I read the book first onto the film next.
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